The Cannibal in The Jungle is a documentary that premiered on Animal Planet during Animal Planet’s monster week that was a “fictional expedition” into the jungle of Flores, Indonesia that is based on a true story. This supposed “fictional expedition” followed the story of Dr. Timothy Darrow who is played by “actors”, and a scientist recounting his side of events and seeing if the story he is telling is true or not. Another “mockumentary” so to speak like the Mermaid “mockumentary” where events are loosely based on real life. But again why make this “mockumentary” if there is no truth to it or yet another thing where the government wants us to brush off and say it’s fake so we won’t know the real truth.
In 2003, researchers found evidence of these hobbit-like creatures in Flores, Indonesia. “Researchers excavating a limestone cave on the remote Indonesian island of Flores made an extraordinary discovery: the 18,000-year-old bones of a woman whose skull was less than one-third the size of our own…They named her Homo floresiensis and nicknamed her the “Hobbit,” after the diminutive villagers from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The team has since recovered bones from as many as nine such people, all about a yard tall, the most recent of whom lived about 12,000 years ago,” according to Smithsonian Magazine. This finding caused an uproar between researchers questioning the process of evolution, some agreeing that the hobbit remains are a distinctive species while others not so much. This research is what fueled the expedition into looking into Darrow’s story.
Dr. Timothy Darrow is an ornithologist, someone who studies birds as a profession, and ever since he was little, he was always fascinated by birds. His sister, Susan Clemmens, claimed he was a truly kind-hearted person and loved taking in hurt animals especially birds and nursing them back to health. Watching them build their nests for hours. Years later, in 1977, he decided to take an expedition with his best friend, who also was an ornithologist, and another friend from Indonesia who knew his way around the jungle of Flores, Indonesia. Their goal was to set out to document, film, and record an owl that is native to the forest but was found extinct years ago. They found that there is a possibility they were never extinct at all and wanted to be the first ones to uncover it. What they didn’t expect to find were these hobbit ape-like creatures to start terrorizing them and their work by tearing down the nets they put up to safely catch the owls to study them.
When trying to set up one of their traps, they would go exploring trying to lure the birds with a recorded mating call of the owl, but when they would come to the nets tore down and strange markings on the tree where the nets were. Then they saw this ape-like creature running and hopping from tree to tree like it was watching them and the best friend of Darrow recorded it. Excited they stumbled onto something extraordinary because there is no history of apes living in that jungle of Flores. The friend who led them into the jungle didn’t feel the same because he believed they were no apes, but a human-like creature that was smaller in stature and was believed to have a voracious appetite. They would kidnap children and eat human babies. According to the local people and villages of Indonesia, they were known as the ‘Ebu Gogo’ – “Ebu” means grandmother; and “gogo,” means “he who eats anything.” That they were fast runners, had very hairy bodies, broad faces, large noses, and even mimic human words.
They kept encountering these creatures afraid for their life because they woke up one morning and all of these footprints were surrounding their tents. Like the creatures have been watching them since they stepped foot into the forest protecting their land in a way when they keep taking down the scientists’ nets. They decided this expedition was too risky and was not worth risking their lives for, so they decided to go back and take all of their nets down. In doing so, the friend who was the tour guide rope got cut and fell to his death. They believe one of those creatures did it because there were fresh markings on the tree as if they have just been there. Their friend died and to decide to honor his memory they buried him, so if they got out of the forest they could tell his family where his body was, but then out of nowhere the creatures started to surround them and chase. Where they were led back to their friend’s gravesite where they saw one of those creatures eating their friend’s brain by bashing his skull in. Darrow and his friend got separated when being chased throughout the forest and never saw each other again. The friend’s body was never found, but Darrow came out of the forest claiming that those hobbit creatures ate and killed his friends. The Indonesian community was outraged because this white-American citizen killed and ate people in Indonesia, one of them being a citizen, and he is making up stories about it to cover up what he actually did. No one believed him and was sent to Indonesian prison for the rest of his life. Until years later one scientist decided to look into his story and started to believe that Darrow was not lying. That there is evidence out there of these hobbit creatures living in the jungle of Flores, the question is are they still out there to this day if they ever were at all?
The Cannibal in The Jungle, led viewers to believe that this expedition was supposedly scripted and stemmed from urban legends. There are many that believe this expedition and the story of Dr. Timothy Darrow was true and to this day, there are indeed little hobbit men that evolved over many centuries occupying that very forest who actually responsible for killing and eating people. One thing that did happen at the end of the “mockumentary” is that credit was received for finding the supposed extinct owl they were looking for in that forest in the first place. If you want to explore more about this story it is available on Amazon Prime.